Taking Your Tenant to Court: 5 Tips for Landlords

For landlords, most tenant disputes can be settled without ever having to go to court. Understanding what is expected from either party under the law, meeting face to face to discuss the issue, and maintaining respectful conversation can often be enough to navigate any problem.

There are situations, however, where you may have no other option but to file an eviction suit. This occurs most often when a tenant refuses to pay rent.

When handling an eviction suit, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success.

1: Know Your Rights as the Landlord

Since landlord/tenant laws can differ by state, and even city, it’s important that you know all of your rights as a landlord under the law. Research them carefully and educate yourself on the laws of your area.

2: Gather All Necessary Documentation

You’ll need to pull together all records pertaining to your tenant. This may include: the tenant’s application, signed rental/lease agreement, repair bills, log of any offenses, copies of default notices or photos property (if damages play a part in the case). The more information and documentation you can present, the better your chances of prevailing at trial.

3: Give the Proper Notice

In most instances a landlord cannot evict a tenant without providing a specific default notice. The amount of time provided in that notice differ depending on the type of default. A tenant also retains the right to cure a default under certain circumstances. Failing to give the proper notice could doom your case for eviction.

4: Have Your Presentation Ready

You will likely have to tell your side of the story at trial. Take time to prepare your presentation in an organized and logical fashion. It’s also a good idea to arrange documentation chronologically so that it can be used to tell your story.

5: Don’t Go It Alone

To ensure that you have the best case possible, consult with an experienced landlord-tenant attorney. A skilled lawyer will help you properly prepare your case and make sure you important details are not missed.

The attorneys at Stanko, Senter & Mitchell have years of experience representing landlords in legal disputes. If you’re a landlord in need of a consultation, contact us today.